Field set for November general elections

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — It took a couple extra days, but the final results are in and the field is set for the Nov. 4 general election.

The final numbers of the races were certified by the Wayne County Clerk’s office Thursday after being incomplete since the primary election because of an injunction placed on about 250 absentee ballots from Dearborn Heights, which were being investigated for possible voter fraud.

Third Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Colombo had placed the injunction on the ballots the day before the election at the request of State Rep. David Nathan (D- 8th District), who ran for the 5th District state Senate seat and asked for a restraining order on the ballots while they were investigated.

Nathan said in his request that concerns of fraud raised by Dearborn Heights City Clerk Walter Prusiewicz needed to be addressed by the court.

Prusiewicz contacted the Wayne County Bureau of Election and Prosecutor’s Office in July regarding the ballots, which he said were dropped off at his office in two separate batches, and asked for their help in determining if fraud had occurred.

In a letter to Bureau of Elections Director Sally Williams, Prusiewicz addressed his concerns with the ballots.

“When I began the process of issuing the ballots, I noticed that none of them were signed by the person who dropped them off as required by law,” Prusiewicz said. “I also noted that many of the headings and dates were written in the same handwriting, and different from that of the voter. They all appear to be of Arab American decent and the majority of them are stating they will be away from the community for both the primary and general elections.”

Colombo ruled Aug. 6 that he could find no voter fraud in the ballots and ordered them to be counted.

While the races were not close enough to have the ballots sway any results, the additional votes did change the final numbers.

Governor and National
The races for governor and the U.S. Senator position being vacated by Carl Levin (D) did not require a primary but the 2 races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives did.

In the 12th District, which is currently held by outgoing Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn), Democrat Debbie Dingell easily defeated challenger Raymond Mullins by more than 18,000 votes and will face Republican Terry Bowman in the November election.

Incumbent John Conyers (D-Detroit) will seek re-election to represent the 13th District in the House — and become Dean of the House with the retirement of Dingell — after defeating Horace Sheffield in the primary.

Conyers has been a member of Congress since 1965 and will face Republican Jeff Gorman in the general election.

Michigan Senate
No primary was needed for the race for the 3rd District, which represents all of Dearborn, as both incumbent Morris Hood (D) and Republican Matthew Keller ran unopposed and will now compete against one another for the four-year spot on the state Senate in November.

The 5th District race required a primary as six democrats were running for the seat being vacated by Tupac Hunter (D).

Current 11th District state Rep. David Knezek won the primary with more 8,000 votes.

Shanelle Jackson (6,317) finished second, followed by David Nathan (5,525), Thomas Stallworth (4,301), Carrie O’Connor (1,189) and Frank Tomcsik (507).

Knezek will face Republican Jennifer Rynicki for the seat.

The 5th District represents all of Dearborn Heights and portions of surrounding communities.

Michigan House of Representatives
Of the four districts representing parts of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, three required primaries.

For the 9th District, incumbent Harvey Santana (D) was challenged by Hussein Berry for the spot on the November ballot.

Santana received 4,951 votes to Berry’s 1,629 and will move on to face Republican James Stephens for the position.

Berry is also the board chairman for the Dearborn Public Schools though his term expires at the end of the year.

In the 11th District, Julie Plawecki, with 2,222 votes, came out on top of the field of eight Democrats and will run against Republican Jim Rhoades for the seat vacated by Knezek.

The other Democratic candidates vying for the spot in the general election were Ned Apigian, Rashid Baydoun, DeArtiss Coleman-Richardson, Dorothy Grady, Hillard Hampton, Lisa Hicks-Clayton and Patricia Scott.

In the Democratic primary for the 13th District, Frank Liberati defeated challengers Geraldine Trager and Tony Trupiano and will now face Republican Harry Sawicki for the seat being vacated by Andrew Kandrevas (D).

The race for the 15th District did not require a primary and will have incumbent George Darany (D) squaring off against Johnnie Salemassi (R).

All of the seats in the Michigan House are for two-year terms.

Wayne County Commissioner
The 8th District representing Dearborn Heights will be between incumbent Diane Webb (D) and Jeanette Christe (R). Both candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

In the 13th District representing Dearborn incumbent Gary Woronchak (D) is running unopposed.

Wayne County Executive
Incumbent Robert Ficano will not get a chance to seek his fourth term in office after finishing fifth out of 11 candidates on the Democratic ballot.

Former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans won the primary with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Westland Mayor William Wild, Phil Cavanagh and Kevin McNamara, who finished with 26, 10 and 7 percent, respectively.

In November, Evans will face off against Republican John Dalton, who emerged victorious out of the three candidate republican primary, for the four-year term.

District Judges
No primary was needed for either local district court judge race.

The third seat on the bench in the 19th District Court in Dearborn will be contested in November between incumbent Judge Mark Somers and challenger Anthony Guerriero while in Dearborn Heights, 20th District Court Judge Mark Plawecki is running unopposed to retain his seat.

District judges serve six-year terms in office.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)

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